Our first fall fair

This weekend we went to our first fall fair/Charles’ birthday weekend.  As usual, get the cousins together and fun was had by all.  The fact that the kick off parade supplied ample candy may have helped things get off to a cracker jack start.  Now let me explain the reason that most pictures are of Elspeth.  Katrine spent large chunks of the day with her cousins – on big kid rides, admiring their entries, looking at animals or playing at the park.   Elspeth got to hang with us – little kid rides, kids zone, park.  Family time and smiles.  After seeing all of their cousins’ entries (2 firsts to boot! whoot! whoot!) the girls got even more excited about their own entries for our up coming fair.

Of course the girls loved the pink tractor....
Of course the girls loved the pink tractor….
...and the pink and purple hot rod.
…and the pink and purple hot rod.
Walking back to their house we passed this amazing display.  Happy fall!
Walking back to their house we passed this amazing display. Happy fall!
Elspeth found some wheat and then turned it into a wheat family by breaking it apart.
Elspeth found some wheat and then turned it into a wheat family by breaking it apart.
"He, he mommy.  A pumpkin on the potty."
“He, he mommy. A pumpkin on the potty.”

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Look at how tall they both are!
Look at how tall they both are!


Pastry 101

When I was a teenager, my mom taught me how to make pastry.  Nice gluteny pastry.  Flakey, tasty goodness.  She had learned from her father who was a baker so you know she is a pastry pro.  Way back in the day I could make top notch lard or shortening pastry.  Then it happened – Celiac.  Since my diagnosis I have not been successful at making pastry from scratch.  It just hasn’t turned out right.  When Katrine asked to make butter tarts I knew that it was time to contact the pro.  This past week while up at her grandparents Katrine made tarts from scratch in all their gluteny goodness.  Apparently they were flaky and suitably buttery.


Katrine's first pastry










She inspired me to try again.  I thought it was going okay but it was an epic fail.  The pastry was suitably flaky but way too grainy to be tasty.  The key lime filling for the pie was limey but didn’t set.  Neither did the egg tart filling.  Sigh.  Time to try again.

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A visit to the Marsh with Grandpum

Looking for snakes with Baba.
Looking for snakes with Baba.


Trying to catch minnows and water striders with Grandpum to get a better look.
Trying to catch minnows and water striders with Grandpum to get a better look.











Oh, they climbed the look out tower too and saw a lot of birds.
Oh, they climbed the look out tower too and saw a lot of birds.









The girls LOVE going to the Wye Marsh with their grandfather and this weekend was no exception.  So off to the Marsh we went.  We discovered waterlillies in bloom, birds, insects, bugs and secret steams.  A great journey into the woods.

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Celiac Conference, Calgary & 45 years

This past weekend Glenn and the girls enjoyed a quiet time together.  They ran errands, watched cartoons, read books and took quite a few trips to the park.  Quality father daughters bonding time.  Where was mom?  Eating on the other side of Canada.

This year’s Canadian Celiac Association Conference was in Calgary.  My mom and I really enjoying going to the conferences together so as part of my 40th, they gifted me airfare to Calgary.  Off I went after work on Friday.  I didn’t arrive until late but there was delicious goodies awaiting me – perogies, fruit, a lemon poppy seed muffin and skor cookies.  All gluten free of course and simply scrumptious.  After a long flight and missing my girls it was the perfect end to the day. (Now the full bed to myself with its mound of pillows didn’t hurt either).

In the lobby waiting to go in to the seminars.

The next morning we were up bright and early to hit the breakfast and seminars.  Each time we go to the conference I learn something new.  Of course, right next door was the exhibit hall with its free samples.  Oh how I ate – coconut milk ice cream, cookies, pizza, perogies…. My highlights were the coconut milk ice cream by Screamin Brothers (really intense fresh flavours can’t wait until it hits the shelves in Ontario), the cinnamon dessert pizza (Coco Brooks) and the perogies (Stella’s Perogies).  I also found gluten free Goldfish Puffs.  I didn’t try them until getting home but delicious!  Then there was the buns provided at lunch.  Heaven.  Soft, untoasted yumminess.  They alone have me wanting to go back to Calgary.  Thank you to Care Bakery.  Sandwich and bread deliciousness.  Is that it?  Oh no, I still have some GF meat sticks that I am hoping the girls will eat (not spicy – Grimms), new healthier takes on the traditional sesame sticks (can’t recall the company name), some GF Breton crackers awaiting sampling…mmm, food.

One of the free samples.  I didn’t know that Stax were also GF.

It wasn’t all about the food and an auto immunie disease; I did manage to get outside.  Heck, by lunch when I was full (only until it was time for an afternoon snack) mom and I along with a fellow conference attendee ventured out to enjoy the sunshine along the main tourist strip.  It was a beautiful day and I rather enjoyed getting out and stretching my legs.

The pedestrian strip

The suffragettes statues was one of my favourites as was the one depicting the heights of the various hills and mountains around the city.

The girls would have loved splashing around in here.

Once the day’s sessions had finished, we all headed out to the nearby mall to visit the Devonian Gardens.  Mall?  Gardens?  Doesn’t sound like something you see everyday and it is not.  It is located on the top floor of the mall and offers a nice oasis situated near the food court.  I quite enjoyed the tranquility.

From there we went to the Fairmount for a nice dinner (yup, even more GF goodness).  Dad wanted to do something nice for mom becaue the next day was their 45th wedding anniversary.  At the end of the meal, our came dessert complete with sparkler and chocolate message.  Mom’s face just lit up.  Oh and it was gluten free too!

Steak and roasted garlic & potatoe soup (GF) with vegge.

45 years


I was sad to leave my oasis of gluten freeness and return to reality but at the same time happy because it meant coming home to my Glenn and the girls.  Overall it was a great weekend.

A busy Easter weekend for all

What a great weekend it has been so far.  Only one day of rain and the rest of sun!  A nice spring day.

On Friday, we started the day off with rain.  It led to some great puddle splashing in the afternoon.  Then, we had a great Easter dinner with my parents. Turkey, the fixings and bunny shaped birthday cake.

The girls decided to dress up and surprise their grandparents with their Easter finery.

My happy birthday girl.

We finally got to see my mom’s latest craft project – Easter Bonnets!  They were adorable and loved by all.

My beautiful mom

On Saturday, we started the day with the Lion’s Club Egg Hunt.  The girls got to meet the Easter Bunny (a big deal to Elspeth and Katrine was game and humoured her sister), faces painted and balloons.  Katrine was in awe of the field full of eggs just waiting to be found.  Elspeth was excited to get to sit in a fire truck (although she still insists that she wants to fly like a bird).  Then it was time for the hunt. The buzzer went and the race for an egg was on.  The girls gleefully filled their baskets full of eggs before we headed to the local legion for cookies and hot chocolate before claiming our giant chocolate bunnies from Grandpa.

After the excitement of the hunt we headed back to my parents where we let the girls run off some of that sugar energy in the backyard.  We also had Katrine’s present time.  One of her favourite gifts was her Great Nana’s easel.  After running around, she took the easel outside for some art time.  I think that she is already planning her next big art project.

Sigh, snow still.  At least it was fun to jump off of.

Waiting for gifts.

Ooh, pastels….

The moment that she saw her easel.  Happy girl.

Her doll was her very first model.

This morning dawned with Easter baskets followed by an egg hunt.  Giggles, smiles and happy girls.  I think that the big sheep pillows and fleece blankets were among their favourite treasures.

When we got home this afternoon we had some outside time, finished up some homework before our final birthday/Easter dinner.  BBQ’d burgers.  Delicious.  Made even more yummy because Grammy joined us.  I love how much the girls love their grandparents.  Katrine had asked for the bunny cake as well as an ice cream cake.  Well, we had my version of ice cream cake.  A block of ice cream with a variety of toppings.  Tons of toppings.

Mint chocolate chip “cake”



Sweet Water Festival

It is that time of year again…maple sirop time.  In other words, time to head up north to my parents and celebrate that the sap is running.  It is always a fun time and the girls always have big smiles. (and they learn something too).

Pancake breakfast

Getting our names burned into wood for necklaces.

It was a perfect day for listening to the presentation in the sugar shack while sucking on maple taffy.  This year’s batch was super delicious.

To top it off, all of the kids got to help their grandfather collect the sap from a many trees.  They were so excited.

The morning finished up with face painting, crafts, a wagon ride and some bannock making.  Smiles were worn by all.

(Masks were the craft.)

My mom’s birthday is this week and Katrine’s is shortly thereafter so we did some present time in the afternoon.  Katrine loved the earrings she got from her aunt, uncle and cousins while mom rather enjoyed her strawberry shortcake.

Welcome 2014!

We ended 2013 and welcomed 2014 with snow and lots of it because we were up at my parents.  Mom made a most delicious steak pie and triffle (GF of course ’cause she is the best mom ever).  Then my parents were off to their “Hillbilly New Year Hoedown”.  Yup, off they went to their party where they had an awesome time while the four of us crashed at their place…as you can see below, the girls were party animals.

New Year’s Day we headed off to the Wye Marsh for some skiing.  It was awesome to be there as a group of four.  Elspeth was tickled pink to be on skis like the rest of us.  Unfortunately she is still a bit slow so we skied to the parking lot and then back before she had enough.  Then I took her out on a sled around the trails before Glenn and I switched places and I got some skiing in.

Don’t you just love the rosy cheeks?

After a lunch it was time for some more outside play in the backyard with SOOOOO much snow.

We were planning on going sledding this morning but didn’t make it as it was super cold.  Maybe next time!

Happy New Year Everyone!


Merry Christmas

The girls gave us a real present today – they slept in!! And on Christmas Day!! It was wonderful.  Once we were up and their grandparents were up it was off to stockings.

Then once breakfast was done and we had fueled up the unwrapping began.  I will let the photos do the talking


Finally dressed for dinner.  Not a bad looking pair!

Once they had collapsed in bed, it was out into the snow for some shoveling.  What a beautiful way to end the day.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


Christmas Eve

In the morning, I took the girls outside to play in the ice/snow.  We have some of those Sno*Markers which meant that they had something to do aside from slid on the ice.  They got pretty creative.  I can honestly say that if you launder snowclothes covered in this “ink” it comes right out of snow clothes.

We had picked up Glenn’s mom yesterday and then my parents joined us at our place today so we have a full house right now.  My parents got a new tree and as a result, they donated their old one to us.  Now we have  two trees.  As you can see, there are a few ornaments on the new one but that is okay, we can grown into it.  The girls talked their Grammy into helping them.

Then Katrine got roped into helping her Grandma do the prep work for the lentil soup for Christmas Day.

The work in the kitchen was no where near done.  There were sugar cookies and Baby Jesus’ birthday cake to be iced as well as a gift for Mom to be made. (Katrine did the ‘Saint Jesus’ on the cake.  Never heard that before but oh well).

Glenn worked with Elspeth to make me Candy Cane Bath Salts with Katrine as the official photographer.

(Epson salts; add peppermint oil and food colouring; stir and bottle.  Smells great.)

After dinner it was off to chruch for the evening service followed by a tour of local lights before the Santa set up began.

The girls even had their stuffies get in on the act.

Wound update

Well, I can now say that I recommend opting for stitches over glue when given the chance.  Elspeth seemed okay until Saturday morning.  That is when there was some blood on cleaning.  Again today.  She is being a trooper but it hurts as her hair is caught in the tape.  Guess we are heading back to the doctor’s.  Sigh.  On Wednesday she wrote a note to her teacher explaining what had happened.  It is very cute.  Makes me smile.

In amidst all of the drama there have been good things as well.  Yesterday the whole family went to see the pantomime Peter Pan.  It was hilarious for both the kids and adults.  Top that off with time spent with cousins, uncle, aunt and grandparents and you have a great time. A great early Christmas gift.

Still smiling over all.


This afternoon was the annual Advent Craft Dinner at church.  The girls LOVE it!  They spend time doing crafts and being part of the church community.  Top that off with dinner, ample dessert and a family centered worship service and it is a sure fire success.  A great way to kick off advent…well, that and their Playmobile calendars.

Hard at work crafting

The evenings work…aside from the cookies which disappeared in a flash.